Style & Then Some

Disposable Me: how to avoid the pitfalls of quick fashion fixes

disposable me quick fix fashion mistakes

Moving back home from University last week and assessing all the clothes I’ve amassed as a student got me thinking – is it time to rethink our spending habits and treat our fashion purchases as investments?

This may not be news to anyone, but money does not grow on trees. I am painfully aware of this myself at the moment as I’m currently living off my savings. And sadly my mother/grandmother never thought to preserve their clothes from the olden days for me to style up and call vintage. Thus, when the spending mist descends, I head to the high street. And what do I buy? Random, dateable, under-thirty-quid tops and trousers that won’t last the year.

In short, I am addicted to disposable fashion. But I’m determined to go cold turkey.

This addiction dawned on me when I did the almost inevitable Move Back Home After Uni this weekend. Trying to condense three years worth of visits to Birmingham’s Bullring shopping centre into my teeny tiny Ikea wardrobe was an impossible task. So, armed with several industrial strength bin bags, I culled my clothes and set myself some rules for future shopping trips.

Here’s how I’m going to do it…

I’ve promised myself that next time I get itchy feet for a new bag or heels, I will not – not – set foot in Primark. I always regret it. Similarly, when the sales descend, I will not buy anything I haven’t lusted after previously (talking to you, skirt made of feathers, 2012). In this way, I’m hoping I can prevent any more of my pennies going on trend-led fashions that date worse than a CGI film.

So, I can hopefully avoid any more disposable additions to my wardrobe. Making sure I buy the right things when I do have money to spend (birthdays, paydays, lottery wins…) is another matter. True designer hallmark pieces may yet be out of my financial reach, but thankfully the fashion gods occasionally descend to our mortal level in the form of collaborations. If you’ve got the time and incentive – and I’m starting to feel I may have both – queuing up at the crack of dawn for a little piece of Versace, Lanvin or JW Anderson might just be the healthy medium, and make great collectibles. Collaborations have been much derided by elitists as an overpriced gimmick – but lets face it, its’ a gimmick thousands subscribe to each year. So here are three of the best collab pieces to delight your fashion-conscious future offspring. If you can hunt these down online, good on you. If not, I’d mark 14th November 2013 in your diary because that’s the date of the next major high street/designer collaboration: Isabel Marant for H&M.

Matthew Williamson, 2009, H&M, fashion, collaboration, high street

Matthew Williamson for H&M, 2009

mary katrantzou, topshop, 2012, 2013, pattern, dress, fashion, collaborations

Mary Katrantzou for Topshop, 2012

fashion, jil sander, 2011, 2013, collaborations, uniqlo

Jil Sander for Uniqlo, 2011

And finally, a tip for anyone else hoping to avoid these very same pitfalls. Next time you pick up a neon crop top or slogan t-shirt and rejoice because it’s less than the price of a Starbucks lunch, stop and ask these questions:

1. Did I like this before the trends told me to?

2. Is it in any way good quality?

3. Will I be proud to have this hanging in my wardrobe?

If the answer to two or more those questions is no, dispose of that disposable fashion right there and then. Besides, you’ve got some saving to do – for those ever-lastingly awesome Isabel Marant for H&M pieces that you’re going to snare.

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3 comments on “Disposable Me: how to avoid the pitfalls of quick fashion fixes

  1. lifestylebygoldie
    June 21, 2013

    I totally relate to this even though I’m (much) older than you. I just cleared my closet of feather earrings, poor quality lace skirts and non-leather shoes that fell apart after a couple of uses. Stay strong! p.s. If you’re ever in America, Target does some amazing collabs with major designers like Missoni and Prabal Gurung.

  2. sophiecha
    June 23, 2013

    I hear you, I find grabbing cheap stuff is particularly bad around birthdays (my own or my friends) and last minute nights out. I should have grown out of this by now but it seems I haven’t. The shame.

    If I spent money on clothes twice a year, say for each season I’d have a much more respectable haul than the every-other-Friday collection I have now.

  3. thebuttononline
    June 30, 2013

    I’ve found that these emergency purchases tended to happen when there was a desperate need for an outfit for a party/job interview/some other occasion where my existing clothes just wouldn’t do.

    I’ve found a longer term solution- now I don’t go out with a specific item to find- it takes the pressure off to buy the fabulous white shirt or amazing party dress as and when you stumble across it and keep it ‘in stock’ in the wardrobe until it’s required.

    As long as you stick to classic pieces that last from season through season, the only time you need disposable fashion is for the final finishing touches- tights, costume jewellery etc.

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This entry was posted on June 20, 2013 by in Style and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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